SHEFFIELD Steelers player- coach Ben Simon may lead the team to the Elite League championship this weekend - but there are no guarantees he will be back to build on the success next season.
When Paul Ragan took over the club in December, the new owner said it was a priority of his to tie Simon down to a new contract for the 2011-12 season.
That hasn’t happened and there appears to be a sticking point in the terms being offered to the 33-year-old American.
Simon did not want to discuss any of the detail of his situation on the eve of the league-title-defining weekend - wins away at Braehead Clan tonight and home to the same opposition tomorrow will hand them the title.
All he would say is: “Nothing has been offered that I would accept. I want to get myself what I think I am worth without pricing myself out.”
It is not clear whether there will be more talks.
Steelers set off for Scotland at 10.30am today, for the 7pm face-off in Glasgow.
Some of the players had hoped the club would arrange an overnight hotel stay last night north of the border. The Star understands that was requested but turned down.
Simon said that the players had won twice their earlier this season after travelling up and they would be attempting to do the same again.
“With a game of this magnitude, it would have been an option (staying over) but if it’s not allowed it’s not allowed” he said.
The coach said that after two days off earlier this week there had been a “crispness and sharpness” about practices and he was optimistic that the character and experience in the side would be enough to deliver the championship to the fans at Broughton Lane on Sunday (6pm).
“We know Braehead are a never-say-die hard-working team and have some good stay-at-home defencemen and very skilled forwards” said Simon.
“But I have faith in the guys. They are excited and keyed up and ready to go.
“We have to work hard and play smart.”